Former External Affairs Minister Salman Khushid says Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not expect dramatic results from his proposed visit to Pakistan next year as New Delhi’s past experiences on engagement with the neighbouring country have not been positive.
“We have always taken the view that there is no option but to talk in what manner and how one should talk…you have to be careful,” the senior Congress leader said on India’s engagement again with Pakistan.
“Our past experiences have not been positive…not very satisfactory…so we are not sure that this time it will be any better. So, I think we have to be watchful; I don’t think we need to celebrate.
“I don’t think we should judge in a hurry but be watchful and then see how things pan out as we move forward,” Khurshid told PTI here in an interview.
Asked if Modi’s proposed visit to Pakistan next year would yield results, he said, “I don’t know. It may get us some results if we know what we are going for; we have to understand what’s happening in Pakistan; we have to understand the role of Army in Pakistan and (we have to) go with a practical view… not expecting something dramatic to happen.
“Mr. Modi has a tendency to look for drama. I don’t think this can be resolved through drama. This has to be carefully, slowly and studiously built upon.”
The Congress is in favour of resumption of dialogue with Modi, he sarcastically said when queried if his party in favour of resumption of dialogue with Islamabad.
“He (Modi) does not talk to us. We don’t know what he is going to talk to Pakistan unless he talks to us,” said Khurshid, adding, during his time as Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh used to call all leaders and explain to them what he had done and what he wanted to do (vis-a-vis relations with Pakistan).
“Mr. Modi does not do that. So, we can’t judge Mr. Modi’s efforts unless Mr. Modi shares either with the people of the country or with leaders of Opposition in some manner as to what his intentions are and what he wants to do.”
On joint statement after Modi’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa in Russia, containing no reference to Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “It’s neither here, nor there. On one way, you can say that it might be advantageous (to India) that they (Pakistan) have stopped talking about Jammu and Kashmir.
“On the other way, it may be disadvantageous that they may say we are ready to talk about everything; so, we will talk about Jammu and Kashmir also.